The Sinocism China Newsletter For 09.25.12

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Just links today:

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

China investment quota granted to foreigners exceeds $30 billion | Reuters– Shanghai bounced just above 2000. Government seems very focused on keeping index above 2000// Monday’s announcement comes amid signs that overseas interest in Chinese financial assets have waned against the backdrop of weaker economic growth and slower appreciation of the Chinese yuan. “The worry is that foreign investors — many of them concerned over health of China’s economy — are not actively applying for quota to invest in the Chinese market,” said an official familiar with the issue, who declined to give his name because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

中美股市“冰火两重天”:美国基金密谋抄底“中国资产”_股票频道_一财网 – first financial on some us fund managers who are stating to buy a shares as think they are cheap//

Vuitton, Gucci Risk ’First-Mover Disadvantage’ in China – Bloomberg – Chinese tastes are changing in ways that may hurt the brands that expanded most aggressively in the country. As more Louis Vuitton (MC) bags, Gucci wallets, and Omega watches flood cities like Beijing and Shanghai, consumers are eschewing readily available logoed products in favor of more distinctive alternatives.

贾康:房产税现阶段不适合全面推行_中国经济网――国家经济门户 – Jia Kang, MOF official who has been a leading proponent of implementing property tax, now says it is not the propert time to roll out everywhere. Guess he realized a property tax is likely a career limiting move given all the interests affected//

Pettis: How to be a China bull | | MacroBusiness – Nowhere does Pettis quantify the debt. Laying a trap for responses?// So if anyone wants to continue to be very bullish about Chinese growth prospects over the next decade, it seems to me that he must address and answer these three questions: 1. How much debt is there whose real cost exceeds the economic value created by the debt, which sector of the economy will pay for the excess, and what is the mechanism that will ensure the necessary wealth transfer? 2. What projects can we identify that will allow hundreds of billions of dollars, or even trillions of dollars, of investment whose wealth creation in the short and medium term will exceed the real cost of the debt, and what is the mechanism for ensuring that these investments will get made? 3. What mechanism can be implemented to increase the growth rate of household consumption?

Railway linking Lhasa and Xigaze under construction in China’s Tibet – Xinhua  pics//Workers are busy at a construction site of the railway linking Lhasa and Xigaze in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, Sept. 21, 2012. The railway runs 253 kilometers with a designed transportation capacity of more than 8.3 million tonnes every year. The construction work started in 2010 and it is estimated to finish in 2014

FT Alphaville » Buffett vs dog vs China extrapolations – This is from Bernstein Research commodities and power analyst Michael Parker, and Alex Leung. What is their point, you ask? It’s their allegory for all those curiously confident predictions about how China’s demand for various commodities will continue to grow rapidly.

China’s rich: manufacturers build… fortunes | beyondbrics – For the first time since it was launched in 1999, the annual Hurun Rich List of wealthy Chinese shows that manufacturing has overtaken property as the biggest source of wealth.

Kellogg inks China JV to gain share in breakfast, snack market | Reuters – Kellogg Co (K.N) is expanding its presence in China’s fast growing breakfast and snack foods market through a new joint venture with Singapore palm oil producer Wilmar International (WLIL.SI)

Report: Chinese Consumers Increasingly Divided – China Real Time Report – WSJ – According to new research from consultancy McKinsey & Co., a dichotomy is widening between a group of wealthier, younger consumers who want indulgent products that express individuality and a group of poorer consumers who are just now beginning to buy goods they want, not just those they need for basic living.

CHINASCOPE – Nanfang Weekend: The First Massive Layoffs in China – [Editor’s Note: Nanfang Weekend reported that, due to the reduction in the rate of growth of China’s economy, Chinese companies have started their first round of massive layoffs. These companies range from the global ones to Chinese brand names and from state-owned enterprises to local small businesses. Although the layoffs are taking place quietly in many places, they are widespread and their impact has been devastating. The following is a translation of an excerpt from the article.]

CHINASCOPE – Guangming Daily: Party Organizations Reached 3,264 in China’s Accounting Firms – The Big Four have Party organizations?// The website of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party carried an article which Guangming Daily had originally published. According to the article, under the directives of the Party organizations in the Ministry of Finance, starting in 2008, a strategic effort has been under way for the Party organization to achieve total coverage and membership in all accounting firms. By the end of July 2012, there were 3,264 Party organizations formed within the accounting firms with Party membership reaching 34,842.

 

POLITICS AND LAW

Wang Yang: reformist credentials tested by Chinese system | Reuters – and yet foreign observers can’t help themselves and have to peg someone as a “reformer” or “china’s gorbachev”// Ultimately, observers say Wang’s experience underscores the difficulties of any Mikhail Gorbachev-like figure breaking free of the confines of China’s rigid political structure. “In this country and in this regime, there are no real reformers,” a former editor of the Southern Metropolitan Daily newspaper said. “Everything is just for show.”

NEWS DOESN’T NECESSARILY EQUAL UNDERSTANDING–Reflections on China reporting at a time of transition-PDF – By David Schlesinger. Good speech, and not because of the nice mention of Sinocism//

Obama should call China a currency manipulator: Romney aide | Reuters – “Governor Romney believes China should be labeled a currency manipulator – without delaying the report – and he will move to label them as such on Day One,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an emailed reply to a query.

 

FOREIGN AND DEFENSE AFFAIRS

FM spokesman: Chinese, Japanese Vice FMs to consult on ties – Xinhua | English.news.cn – “As requested by the Japanese, China agrees to receive Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai to visit from Sept. 24 to 25”, spokesman Hong Lei announced at a press conference.

U.S., Japan Train for Island Defense in Joint Military Exercise – WSJ.com – Japan’s military is sharpening its skills at defending remote islands with the help of U.S. troops, as Tokyo faces an increasingly contentious dispute with China. In a move that signals how the two allies are adjusting their defense cooperation to counter Beijing’s growing territorial ambitions in the Western Pacific, troops from Japan’s Ground Self Defense Force since mid-August have been receiving training on amphibious military tactics from the U.S. Marine Corps.

Review & Outlook: China’s Nationalist Furies – WSJ.com – So far China has not sought to overturn the international status quo as the Soviet Union did, but a rising, undemocratic power has often destabilized the world order, especially when nationalism is in the saddle. The U.S. needs to take a firm line against Chinese aggression toward its neighbors, lest Beijing’s rulers think they can indulge their nationalist furies without cost.

Govt to object to China’s bid to extend shelf : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)– Earlier this month, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced its intention to submit such an application to the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, a move believed to be retaliation against Japan’s purchase of three of the Senkaku Islands in Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture. The Japanese government plans to claim demarcation of a border on the continental shelf between Japan and China is beyond the jurisdiction of the commission, as the two countries have not yet agreed on their maritime boundary in the East China Sea.

Artifacts offer ancient proof on Diaoyu Islands |Politics |chinadaily.com.cn – Two valuable items – a handwritten journal and a map from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), which both have great historical value and offer clear evidence of China’s sovereignty over the islands – are being displayed for the first time at Poly Art Museum.

Diaoyu protests: What Japanese Internet users think of the Chinese demonstrations. – The Japanese see things rather differently, but it’s not like anyone would know. Though we’ve heard from the raucous Chinese protesters and have read the more moderate commentary on Weibo, China’s domestic Twitter, the Western media have all but ignored the perspective of the ordinary Japanese.

A Chinese leader says New Zealand and Australia bullying Fiji – Wu Bannguo has been in Fiji since Thursday.

CHINASCOPE – Guangming Daily: China Has Established 42 Confucius Institutes in the Middle East and Africa – The website of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party carried an article which was originally published by Guangming Daily. According to the article, China has set up 380 Confucius Institutes in 108 countries around the world. Among those, there are 31 Institutes and five Confucius classes in Africa, while 11 Institutes were established in the Middle East.

 

TECH AND MEDIA

Inside the iPhone 5: Will Apple Go (China) Mobile? – China Real Time Report – WSJ – iFixit noted that the new phone carries a Qualcomm Inc. modem that can communicate with networks using the TD-SCDMA telecommunications technology. Why does that matter? Because TD-SCDMA is the proprietary Chinese 3G network standard used by China Mobile, which does not have an agreement to offer the iPhone despite boasting the world’s biggest subscriber population.

China Has Over a Billion Mobile Phone Users, 192 Million 3G Users – Tech in Asia – MIIT reports that as of the end of August, there were 1.07 billion mobile phone users in China, and 192 million of them (about 18 percent) are 3G users. But, as we’ve heard from lots of sources, those numbers are growing fast. MIIT says that in total, China has gained more than 64 million 3G subscribers so far this year.

Unearth The True Feelings of Taiyuan Foxconn Workers: I Feel Loss and Hopeless (Exclusive Interview) » M.I.C. Gadget – Regarding the most recent riot, we have contacted the same undercover journalist called Wang Yu via QQ (China’s most popular IM software) and he has something to say. He made 3 very close friends during the 10 days stay in the Taiyuan Foxconn factory and he talks about their miserable life in Foxconn

 

SOCIETY AND CULTURE

Probe at kindergarten over charging VIP fees — Shanghai Daily – But when parents heard that the contract between the Tongzhou District Harvard Cradle Kindergarten and a local property company was about to end, they asked for their money to be returned to them.

传“微笑局长”杨达才被查出有83块名表_网易新闻中心 – did yang dacai, aka “smiling official” or “watch brother”, actually own 83 brand name watches?

Beijing traffic authority warns of pre-holiday congestion – Xinhua | English.news.cn – Traffic jams could seriously clog Beijing’s roads ahead of the upcoming eight-day national holiday, the city’s traffic authority warned Monday.

Sotheby’s to Sell Art in China – WSJ.com – wonder if reporter knows who Christie’s partner is rumored to be//Sotheby’s confirmed on Friday that it signed a joint-venture agreement with Beijing GeHua Art Co., a state-owned enterprise, to sell art in China. Sotheby’s owns 80% of the new company, which still requires the approval of the central Chinese government. Called Sotheby’s (Beijing) Auction Co., the venture’s first sale is slated for Sept. 27 in China’s capital and will feature one work by artist Wang Huaiqing.

 

FOOD AND TRAVEL

Starbucks at ancient temple hard to swallow for some – People’s Daily Online – The American giant Starbucks has caused heated discussion in China over whether it is appropriate for the world’s largest Western coffee shop to set up in the Lingyin Temple, a Buddhist monastery in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province.

Temple Restaurant Beijing in Beijing, China – Scene Asia – WSJ – Nestled on the grounds of a centuries-old Ming Dynasty complex, hidden in a historic hutong neighborhood in central Beijing, the Temple Restaurant Beijing feels like a carefully guarded secret.

 

BOOKS

Shanghai: The Vigor in the Decay by Ian Johnson | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books – This is a story that sounds familiar, that we think we know or can imagine: old houses torn down for luxury malls, ordinary people poorly compensated, an intimate way of life replaced by highways and high-rises. All of this is happening in Shanghai—and dozens of cities across China and around the world—but it’s not how Howard French and Qiu Xiaolong tell it in their unusual new book of photographs, poems, and essays, Disappearing Shanghai: Photographs and Poems of an Intimate Way of Life.

Penguin Boss Bullish on China Publishing Market – Caixin Video – Head of Penguin Group John Makinson talks about the changes in China’s publishing landscape since the company’s entry into the mainland seven years ago, and gives his take on what’s behind the boom in the Chinese book publishing market.

Penguin Unbound – Caixin – In 2005, Penguin opened its first China offices in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Jiangmen. With an initial strategy geared toward bringing English-language titles to foreigners living in the country, the readership is now 80 percent Chinese. The current phase of development involves establishing a larger presence in the Chinese-language market, for which Makinson says the company has received official encouragement to make more titles available and engage in the origination of intellectual property. By the end of 2012, the company plans to acquire a total of eight to 10 titles for adaptation into English and have a total of 160 titles on offer in Chinese.

Thanks for reading. The best way to see this daily post is to subscribe by email, especially if you are in China, as Sinocism is blocked by the GFW. You can also follow me on Twitter @niubi or Sina Weibo @billbishop.

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